The UCL Practitioner
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Are there really too many UCL filings?
Last Monday, Public Citizen published the results of an extensive study on litigation filings in U.S. courts: "Frequent Filers: Corporate Hypocrisy in Accessing the Courts." The study concludes that, despite what we frequently hear in the news and elsewhere, far more lawsuits are filed by corporations than individuals. The October issue of Washington Monthly also addresses this topic in an article called "False Alarm: How the media helps the insurance industry and the GOP promote the myth of America's 'lawsuit crisis.'" (Both links are courtesy of Mythago.)

I mention these articles because they happen to be consistent with the results of my own (admittedly unscientific) survey of UCL decisions issued since the first of the year by federal district courts in California. In reviewing those decisions, I noticed that the lion's share—at least 75%—involved disputes between businesses, in which one business sued another for a UCL violation. Most of the cases involved intellectual property or antitrust disputes. I thought this was quite interesting given the fact that most people, including lawyers, seem to think that UCL claims are filed mainly by consumers against businesses. The supporters of Proposition 64 have tried to perpetuate that notion, saying things like "each year thousands of California's small businesses become victims" of "frivolous" UCL filings. It would be interesting to survey the UCL claims filed in state court to see whether that is true and whether, as seems to be the case in federal court, most UCL claims are actually filed by business entities against their competitors.
I have a california business lawyer site. It pretty much covers california business lawyer related stuff. Check it out if you get time :-)
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